I feel that after the last couple of posts I need to clarify something. I really do love my job. Let me emphasize that:
I Really Love My Job!!!!!
I do not want anyone to think that because I write about all the problems associated with teaching that I would like to do anything else than being a teacher. I may complain about all the paperwork, the regulations, the pressures put on my profession, but in the end, I enjoy working with the kids, love the feeling I get when the light comes on in their eyes, when they tell me later on that I helped them succeed in college or their career. (It happens and teachers live for those moments.)
I also love teaching at Centennial, with all the challenges that come with it. I feel as though the work I am doing there is important, is healing some wounds in our community. None of our students asked to be born in the circumstances they find themselves in. They did not ask to be born in poverty, to be born in a state where they may be hated for their skin color, to be born in dysfunctional families. I need to remember this in my moments of frustration and work to heal and not further harm.
I love working with my colleagues who day in and day out commit themselves to the same work I am in. Those who are not a part of the teaching profession, particularly teaching in an urban school, cannot understand the challenges we face and often make facile statements of condemnation.
I also like our administration. Principal Johnson was brave enough to step into a tough situation. She keeps challenging us to step up our game. Reginald "Reggie" Smith and Andrew Pearson our assistant principals do their best to keep up with the demands of working with a student body whose maturity and social growth have been stunted by their poverty and culture.
|H. Charmaine Johnson, Principal of Oklahoma Centennial Middle/High School|